Entry into force of new safety requirements for coastal passenger vessels

Article 47A of the Merchant Shipping (Issue and Recognition of Certificates and Marine Training) Laws of 2008 and 2017, which took effect on 1 January 2008, provides that members of the crew complement on board coastal passenger vessels who have safety duties related to passengers must meet the mandatory minimum requirements for familiarization and basic safety training and instruction for all seafarers set out in Regulation VI/I of the Annex of the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (“STCW”).

The requirement to hold a basic training certificate of proficiency is limited only to the crew complement which is required by the vessel’s minimum safe manning certificate issued for the coastal passenger vessel in accordance with the provisions of Merchant Shipping (Safe Manning, Hours of Work and Watch Keeping) Laws of 2000 and 2005. The Department of Merchant Shipping has decided to omit some parts of the training that are not applicable due to the small size of vessels, the short duration of the voyage and the proximity to the coast, the favourable weather conditions and the limited safety equipment on board. These omissions do not apply to skippers.

The rest of the crew must receive sufficient information and instruction from the skipper of the vessel to be able to communicate with other persons on board on elementary safety matters and understand safety information symbols, signs and alarm signals, and must know what to do in emergency situations. Details of briefings on these matters must be recorded in the vessel’s official log book.